50K MUSIC: Please introduce yourself, who is Phia? Where do you come from (musically)?
Phia: Phia is me! It's a nickname of my full name (Sophia). I've been performing solo for the last two years but recently have started performing on stage with guitarist Josh Teicher, who also my producer.
Musically I come from many places. In school I used to sing in choirs and loved musical theatre. This has definitely shaped my performing and love of harmonies. My dad introduced me to classic 60s songwriting, The Beatles are a massive influence on me. My mum introduced me to jazz, like Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett, which I loved and actually studied jazz piano at university. So a real mix of things.
50K MUSIC: I would characterise your songs as everything but ordinary, your music is rather puristic. How come that your songs are only made of your voice, a kalimba and the help of a loop pedal?
Phia: It was something I discovered about myself, that I work best when I have limitations. So only having a few tools to make music, and knowing I had to be able to make all the sounds myself really freed me up creatively.
Orchestral Punk Rock band Birdeatsbaby, are releasing their third studio album ‘The Bullet Within’, through their campaign on Kickstarter. I got lucky enough to get in touch with Birdeatsbaby while they are so busy with working on their new album. With ‘The Bullet Within’, they want to bring everybody over to the dark side and I suggest you follow. Here is what Birdeatsbaby has to say about their campaign, new album and what’s in store for their future, then head over to Kickstarter cause there are only a few days left to pledge!
50K MUSIC MAG: How did you meet and become Birdeatsbaby?
BIRDEATSBABY: Mish, Philippa (original drummer), Garry and Keely (original violinist) met at University. We quickly realised that we had something, as each one of us came from completely different musical background, different ends of the country, different ages and a love of all things musically alternative. It took us some time to blend together all of this and make it work. We never planned for BEB to sound the way it did, it just happened. A happy accident! After some years we went through several member changes and now we are Mishkin, Garry, Tessa and Katha.
Novosibirsk, Siberia, may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think of death metal but it’s from that land that Defect Designer originally hails. Their formation has taken quite a few twists and turns, namely the number of line-up shifts that has left Dmitry Sukhinin the lone original member and of course the band leader. He’s also relocated to Norway, to avail of a work opportunity.
“We have quite a complicated case about the band,” says Dmitry. “[Novosibirsk] is a million and a half by population but we’ve always struggled with musicians in the city and we managed to do the first record [Wax].”
Nevertheless the band, though its line-up fragile at the time, were determined to record this first record, Wax, and even did so in Hertz Studio in Białystok, Poland, which has housed some Polish death metal greats such as Vader and Decapitated. That however was nearly five years ago and much has changed for Defect Designer.
“After a couple of years of struggling within the band I got an offer to join the company [I work for] in Norway that I accepted so basically I had to re-establish the band from the very beginning,” explains Dmitry, clearly laden with several obstacles in trying to get Defect Designer off the ground. The band’s second album is now, unsurprisingly, turning into an international affair.
Launching a crowd-funding campaign on Music Raiser, Dmitry has successfully raised the desired $1,500 (€1,100) to record the new record with some high profile names, including one Flo Mounier of Cryptopsy. The Montreal death metal drummer has long been a luminary in the field of extreme metal drumming and Dmitry is quite proud to have him involved but how did this come about?
Die Happy are celebrating 20 years of band history with a Pledgemusic campaign. And their fans are ready to back the new album - Die Happy have reached more than 130% of their goal and still 97 days left to pledge. I talked to Thorsten Mewes, guitarist of the band, about the direct-to-fan experience and the new album ...
50K MUSIC MAG: It's been a while since we heard of Die Happy. Your album "Red Box" came out back in 2010. What happened since then?
Thorsten: After touring the album and an incredible accoustic tour 2011 we had to celebrate our 1000th show, which was released on DVD and CD in Autumn 2012. I became a father in 2011 and Marta brought her daughter into the world in 2013 so we´ve been busy in family works too. So this year was the year of studio for the next album.
50K MUSIC MAG: Most people will know your 2000 hit single "Supersonic Speed". Do people still associate your music with this one song?
Thorsten: It was one of our biggest hits and I guess, we are musically still not too far away from that kind of music.
50K MUSIC MAG: You've left the Major and got signed by an Indie label. What does it mean for the band and your music?
Capitán Tifus (Captain Tifus) is a person, well a pirate, but not a bad one. This guy travels the world searching for a treasure, but he does it on the best way possible, by making music. Back in 2004 the guys behind The Captain got together in Buenos Aires not only to form a band but to create a new persona, he has is own personality and like any other human being he has a mission. A mission that took him in three tours around the world.
Vicky told us about this pirate, where did he come from and where is he going ...
50K MUSIC: Who formed Capitan Tifus? How did you meet and how was the band form?
Vicky: Jero (guitarra), Fran (violin) and I (voice) went together to school and we started playing when we were around 16, we made a few bands before the Captain. That means we have been together for over 15 years. During this years we had many bandmates, but today with Emiliano on Trumpet we are four Argentinians that tour the world. Because of our many touring months, not all of us can travel all the time. In Argentina the team is formed by Germán Paraise and Juan de Paula on bass and drums. We add bass, guitar and drums in Europe (Apostoli -el griego-, Albert -el catan- and Maik -el gallego-) and in Asia we have Jordie, our bass player in Hong Kong.
50K MUSIC: Which are your influences? How does your style form?
Vicky: Inside a crossbreed that was born from mixing Latin beats with Rock, Ska and Reggae, we added Oriental melodies to it, especially from the Balcanic zone. We also put some Gipsy music in there and we called it “Fanfarria Latina”. This can also sound a little bit like some Tango melodies because it has roots in the common things, immigration, popular music and the joy of spontaneous encounters. We have many influences from Tango and Argentinian Rock, like Sumo and Bersuit to internationals like Manu Chao, Goran Bregovic, Buena Vista Social Club, The Beatles… we like everything!
50K MUSIC: Where did the name come up?
Vicky: Captain Tifus is a pirate that travels the world looking for different music and mixing it, trying to find a melody that will give him immortality. Or maybe trying to find richness or the maximum joy of life… The interesting thing is that he doesn’t realize that by doing this he is already living the best thing of life that is travelling and making music!
I've discovered the music of John Allen literally by accident. A few days ago I've come across a post on Facebook pointing to an interview with John Allen. Since I am a fan of Jon Allen's music (no typo!) I was anxious to read it and surprised to I read about John Allen. So it happened that I got in touch with John for some Q&A - and I'm really happy about discovering his music ...
50K MUSIC: Who is John Allen? Where do you come from? What are your (musical) roots?
John: I currently reside in Hamburg, Germany and I plan to do so for many years to come. It's great city with many different cultural influences. My musical roots, however, are definitely in old American music. I love basically everything that Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Tom Waits do. I'm desperately in love with the songs auf Paul Simon and classic blues music. Also I'm a big fan of people like Chuck Ragan, Brian Fallon from 'The Gaslight Anthem', Frank Turner, Dave Hause, Cory Branan and Lucero and I'd like to think my musical roots are somewhere right in the middle of that big bunch of talent. As to who I am... well... just me, I guess. I play guitar and sometimes the piano and I do my best to put my thoughts and ideas into songs and sing them to those people that are willing to listen.
50K MUSIC: You've released your debut album "Sounds of Soul and Sin" in April this year. How has it been received?
John: Actually it has, yes. "Sounds" was recorded in March 2013, but many of the songs were written a long time before that. People tell me that they really like the kind of dark and gloomy athmosphere of the album, which obviously makes me very proud. Since it hasn't come out on a label though, it's has definitely not received any widespread praise from magazines or so on. I just like the fact that people that come to my shows eMail me to say they liked the record. That's really what counts for me.
50K MUSIC: A while ago you got in touch with Frank Turner. How come that you've supported him on his Germany tour this year?
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